Archives are information centers where records about the past – including diaries, financial records, photographs, and emails – are made available to researchers. During the month of October, everyone is invited to celebrate archives, the work of archivists, and the rich history of Philadelphia at events across the city and surrounding areas. Join us!
Learn more About Archives Month Philly.
Daily 10AM – 5PM
College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
Free with museum admission (Museum admission fees)
December 31st marked the 500th birthday of the “Father of Modern Anatomy” Andreas Vesalius. In 1543 Vesalius published De humani corporis fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body), a series of seven books based on the dissection and research he conducted while at the University of Padua. This treatise on the human body was a groundbreaking work, with both detailed text and illustrations. To this day the Fabrica is still considered a masterpiece of both medical and anatomical literature. Please visit our exhibit which opened on December 19th, 2014. It features an edition of the Fabrica book as well as other works by Vesalius and specimens highlighting his accomplishments in the field of anatomy.
City Hall, Second Floor, East Corridor (in front of Mayor’s Office)
1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19107
In celebration of LGBT Month, Art In City Hall and the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy presents Defiant Archives: Trans Histories of Existence, Resistance, and Brilliance. The exhibit shares a collection of archival and personal items with a focus on the history of transgender activism in Philadelphia, curated and collected by local trans community members. Visitors will be able to watch a collection of oral history videos shared by the Trans Oral History Project, as well as the short documentary video “Transpass” about the work of Riders Against Gender Exclusion, a local activist group who won the fight to end SEPTA’s use of gendered stickers in 2013. The exhibit will also invite participation, as visitors are welcomed to share their own histories on a timeline stretching from 1965 to 2015.
The Defiant Archives exhibit responds to a missing piece in the Reminder 2015 celebration. Before, during, and after the Annual Reminder Day protests (1965-69) demanded gender conformity from participants, transgender and gender nonconforming activists have mobilized for sexual and gender self-determination, social transformation, and collective liberation.
William Way LGBT Community Center
1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA
From 1953 until 1973, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) classified homosexuality as a mental disorder, a disease that doctors could treat. Gay activists like Barbara Gittings and Frank Kameny first challenged this medical definition of homosexuality as illness through actions such as petitions, lectures, and appearances on television talk shows. In 1970, they moved on to spontaneous demonstrations, or “zaps,” at the APA conference, and in subsequent years Gittings and Kameny became the first gay people to have a voice in official APA panel discussions.
Between 1972 and 1978, Gittings, Kameny, and Gittings’ partner Kay Lahusen created three informational display booths for national meetings of the APA. Portions of these confrontational booths, donated to the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center by Kay Lahusen, have been restored and are presented together for the first time as part of an exhibit called “Gay Love on Display: Taking on the APA”
The Heritage Center of The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145
No RSVP needed.
“1865: Triumph and Tragedy”: On April 9, 1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, ending the bloodiest conflict in American history. Six days later, John Wilkes Booth ended the life of President Abraham Lincoln. The year ended with the passage of the 13th amendment to the United States Constitution, ending slavery in America. On May 5, the Union League began a new chapter in its history with the opening of its new clubhouse on South Broad Street. These and other events of the year will be explored in the exhibit on Philadelphia and the Civil War.
“Love of Country Leads”: Titled after the motto of the Union League, this exhibit gives the visitor an overview of the League’s 150-year history and was designed to showcase some of the League’s historical collections. Foremost among these is a rare copy of the Emancipation Proclamation, signed with Abraham Lincoln’s full signature. It is one of an edition of about 48 that League members arranged to have printed and sold at the Great Central Fair in Philadelphia in June of 1864. (Only about 26 of these still exist.) The fair raised more than $1 million for sick and wounded Union soldiers. Love of Country Leads will remain on display indefinitely.”
Exhibit will be ongoing for month of October, Open House Event and Tour of the Center will be on October 12th from 5-7 PM
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
418 Curie Boulevard, Floor 2U, Philadelphia, PA 19104
100 Years in Nursing History will be an ongoing exhibit that explores the rich history of the nursing profession beginning in 1915 and will include photos and selections from the archives of the Bates Center.
Open House and Tour Description for 10/12/15: Come explore the archives of the Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at Penn Nursing. As one of the oldest and largest archives dedicated to preserving nursing’s rich history, the Bates Center is a rich resource for researchers from across the globe who are interested in the historical development of nursing.
The open house will be held on October 12th from 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM and will feature the Center’s ongoing exhibit “100 Years in Nursing History,” as well as select items from the archives.
Follow the Bates Center on Twitter @Penn_Bateshx
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PennNursingBatesHistoryCenter
Rosenbach Museum & Library
2008 Delancey Place, Philadelphia PA, 19103
$5 + general admission
Advanced registration strongly recommended
From the Canterbury Tales to Ulysses, the Rosenbach’s collection is full of books that have been banned, challenged, or censored. Take your rights and the books back into your own hands, discuss the controversies surrounding them, and celebrate your freedom to read.
About Hands-On Tours
Created especially for visitors who seek an in-depth and focused look at our collection, Hands-On Tours allow you unparalleled access to rare and important items that are not usually on view to the public. Depending on the tour, you will have the chance to handle historic items, be it by turning the page of a rare book, testing the weight of a delicate teacup, or reading from a manuscript. Click here for a list of all themes and an up-to-date schedule.
Hands-On Tours are offered almost every Friday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Advance registration is strongly recommended, as there are a limited number of spots on each tour and tours without registrants 48 hours in advance will be cancelled. To register, call (215)732-1600, ext. 100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any open spots on a tour will become available to drop-in visitors on a ﬁrst-come ﬁrst-served basis at noon on the day of the tour. If you plan to drop-in for a Hands-On Tour, please call (215)732-1600 and dial “0” to conﬁrm that the tour is being offered.
$5 per person (in addition to the cost of general admission).
October 3, 2015, 9am-3pm
Monmouth County Library HQ
125 Symmes Drive, Manalapan, NJ 07726
RSVP required for tour of Monmouth County Archives
The event includes a History Forum, 62 exhibit tables hosted by history organizations, awards presentations, and a history game with prizes, as well as a tour of the Monmouth County Archives, for which reservation is required. Attendees will be able to view the exhibit, “New Jersey in Focus: The World War I Era, 1910-1920,” which will be on view in the library’s gallery for the month of October, after which it will be hung in the hallway outside the Archives office on the lower level of the building.
Also during the week preceding the main event:
Tuesday, September 29, 2pm, movie, WWI era, “The Water Diviner”
Wednesday, September 30, 9:30-11:45am: Seminar, Newspaper Photo Collections in New Jersey
Sarah Hull, Plainfield Public Library (Courier News)
Gary D. Saretzky, Monmouth County Archives (Red Bank Register)
Boris Von Faust, Passaic County Historical Society (Paterson Evening News)
Wednesday, September 30, 1-2:30pm: Lecture by Joe Grabas, “Monmouth County Land Holdings”
Thursday, October 1, 2pm, movie, WWI, “Lawrence of Arabia: The Battle for the Arab World”
A fun, hands on workshop on how to assess, arrange, restore and archive your personal memorabilia, photos and objects.
Your story is important! This workshop, co-sponsored by the William Way Community Center, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts is open to anyone.You can bring in samples of the kinds of things that document your own life, your family and your community. We’ll give you tips on how to store that memorabilia, how to maintain it, repair it and handle it. We’ll even point you toward local libraries and archives that might be interested in accepting your treasures when you’re ready to give them up, or just can’t move them one more time.
1210 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
$5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night
Archivists take over the popular bar-based monthly lecture series, Nerd Nite Philly.
Lisa Berry Drago [Chemical Heritage Foundation] will present “You’ve Got Some Gall: Early Modern Inks and Pigments”
So, you’re a monk in the fourteenth century, and you want to copy a few pages of your favorite hymnal. No problem! First, you catch a goat. Then you skin a goat. Then you find some gall nuts on an oak tree, and some good red wine… okay, you get the idea. Writing and book-making were highly specialized arts requiring patience and expertise. This Nerd Nite, you’ll learn about the process of making manuscripts, and even get to try your hand at writing with real iron-gall ink and feather quills.
Tara O’Brien [Historical Society of Pennsylvania] will discuss the history of cursive writing. Maybe we can get her take on the importance of teaching penmanship in Philly public schools?
And Matt Herbison [Drexel University College of Medicine Legacy Center] will talk about “She-Doctors and Shameless Non-Blushers: Women Physicians in the US”
Philly has always been a big medical school town, including the Female Medical College of PA, the first med school for women in the world, founded in 1850 by Quakers (naturally). Women working outside their accepted sphere of home and family and getting elbows-deep into unwomanly medical situations was far from universally accepted – in fact, over 160 years later, the gender imbalance for doctors is still significant. To do up Archives Month the way it deserves, we’ll get our own hands dirty with this turbulent history and uncover juicy original documents that reveal the struggles these women faced when they deigned to enter the men’s world of science and medicine
What is Nerd Nite?
Nerd Nite is a monthly lecture event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. It’s often about science or technology, but by no means is it limited to such topics. And it’s definitely entertaining. Our unofficial tag line is “It’s like the Discovery Channel – with beer!” There are Nerd Nites around the world, Philadelphia is just one of them. Take a gander at http://philadelphia.nerdnite.com/welcome/ for more info.
Library Company of Philadelphia
1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Free for LCP members or $12 for nonmembers
Please RSVP here
This interactive performance will unveil the mystique of ladies fashion in the Victorian era. The “Victorian Striptease” is an exclusive opportunity to experience first-hand the trials and tribulations of women’s fashion.
An eye opening performance, provided by historian and performer Barbara Darlin, will provide a historical perspective on women’s fashion, the female body image, and how fashion impacted daily life at the turn of the 20th century. Unlacing the Victorian Woman is a program of Fashioning Philadelphia, the Library Company’s latest exhibit examining the style of the City of Philadelphia from 1720 – 1940. Dessert reception to follow performance.
Dessert reception to follow event.
Before the event, please take advantage of Nomad Roman’s (1305 Locust Street) happy hour from 4-6 pm: 20% of proceeds will go back to Library Company.
The Heritage Center of The Union League of Philadelphia
140 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Registration required; call Jes Rudderow at 215-587-5596 or email@example.com
Prohibition-themed walking tour led by Bob Skiba and pop-up exhibit. Begin at City Hall, end at the Heritage Center of the Union League of Philadelphia. Free snacks, cash bar (no bathtub gin). Sponsors: Heritage Center, William Way LGBT Center, MARAC-PA, PACSCL.
Tour is limited to 25 people and will be approximately one hour. Heritage Center portion of the event open to 50 people. Registration is required. Please contact Jes Russerow at 215-587-5596 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register or with any questions. More information (including the exact location to meet for the tour) will be emailed to attendees as the event approaches.
Sponsors: The Heritage Center of The Union League of Philadlephia; The John J. Wilcox, Jr., Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center; The Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Pennsylvania Caucus, and the Philadelphia Area Consortium for Special Collections Libraries.
Visit the Heritage Center website. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit The John J. Wilcox Jr. Archives at the William Way LGBT Community Center website. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit the Philadelphia Area Consortium for Special Collections Libraries website. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Pennsylvania Caucus website. Find them on Facebook.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015, 6:00-8:00PM
Wagner Free Institute of Science
1700 W. Montgomery Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19121
Please REGISTER HERE
The 2015 Philadelphia Lantern Slide Salon will showcase glass lantern slides from the special collections of 7 Philadelphia institutions projected from an historic lantern projector in the Wagner’s Victorian-era lecture hall.
Glass lantern slides are wonderful artifacts in and of themselves, but they are most interesting when we discuss the context for which they were originally created. In the spirit of lantern exhibition culture, this year’s salon participants will present a narrative story with their slides. The American Philosophical Society, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, the Franklin Institute, the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, the Scott Memorial Library of Thomas Jefferson University, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Wagner Free Institute of Science will present an exciting evening of education and entertainment. Sit back and relax as we travel to the American West and the Lesser Antilles, delve into the destruction and relief efforts of WWI, get early 20th century lessons in social studies and science, and learn the benefits of abstinence from alcohol.
Predating the motion picture, lantern slides were used for entertainment and to illustrate educational programs. The Philadelphia Lantern Slide Salon will be held in the Wagner’s Victorian-era lecture hall using an historic lantern projector. Please join us for a rare treat as we revive an old technology in order to see culturally significant lantern slide collections from the libraries and archives of Philadelphia’s most distinguished institutions.
Thursday, October 15, 5:30-7:30 PM
Class of 1978 Orrery Pavilion, 6th Floor
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center
3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA
Free and open to the public (please show photo ID at entrance)
Registration for this talk is appreciated but not required. Please RSVP HERE or contact email@example.com or 215.898.7088
Human fascination with animals has always inspired us to recreate their form in a variety of media; from cave paintings of prehistoric creatures to plush teddy bears, we surround ourselves with them. They are loyal companions and bloodthirsty predators, and they intrigue us with their strength and beauty. As part of Archives Month Philly, fearsome beasts and fluffy friends alike will leap from the pages of the Kislak Center’s collections. Join the cataloging staff for an evening safari that will include vicious lions, colorful fish, beautiful bugs, and perhaps even a few zoological mysteries!
October 16, 2015 at 3:30 – 5pm
150 N. 6th Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Fresh Air with Terry Gross, an award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is produced by WHYY in Philadelphia and distributed nationally by National Public Radio (NPR). The hour-long interview show is currently adding metadata to its archives to make it more widely available for research and scholarship. Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of WHYY studios, listen to selected “gems” from Fresh Air Archives, and talk to the producers of the program about their use of archives for research and production.
National Mechanics Philadelphia Bar & Restaurant
22 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Entry is free, pay-as-you-go for food and drink
No advance registration required, but arrive early to claim a table!
Think you know Philadelphia history? Test your knowledge of the City of Brotherly Love in this special pub quiz organized by the Delaware Valley Archivists Group. Questions plumbed from the annals of our city’s past by your friendly local archivists will challenge you to recall the people, places, and events that make Philadelphia unique.
What is quizzo?
Bring your buddies – or make some new friends! – and form a team of up to six players. While the program starts at 7:00 pm, we advise you to arrive early in order to claim your table. The night’s Quizmaster, a local archivist, will ask three rounds of ten questions each about Philadelphia history. You’ll write your answers on response sheets that will be collected after each round. Prizes will be awarded to the highest scoring teams and to the team with the Quizmaster’s favorite team name.
Philadelphia City Hall, Broad and Market Street
Enter at the northeast corner of City Hall. You will need a picture ID to sign in. Guard will direct you to Conversation Hall, Room 201
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Celebrate ten years of PhillyHistory.org by joining us for a panel discussion featuring PhillyHistory staff, bloggers, and public users. We’ll discuss PhillyHistory’s creation and development, lessons learned from ten years of maintaining a digital history project, and our plans for making historic images available online for years to come.
In 2005, the City of Philadelphia Department of Records launched the Photo Archives Website to support public viewing and geographic search of over 1,000 historic photographs taken throughout Philadelphia. Ten years later, PhillyHistory.org features over 130,000 historic photographs and maps from five organizations, includes almost thousands of data edits submitted by members of the public, maintains a regularly updated blog with over eight years of entries, and has received several large grants.
1:30-2:30 pm on October 21, 2015
McCabe Library, Computer Classroom
500 College Ave., Swarthmore, PA 19081
No registration required
What happens to your email when you graduate or retire from Swarthmore College? Will you be able to open today’s photos in five years? As new technology emerges and current technology becomes obsolete, we need to actively manage our digital possessions to keep them available for years to come. Don’t worry – friendly campus archivists, librarians, and ITS staff are here to help!
Personal digital archiving means taking steps (small or big) to ensure your family memories, personal and professional papers are safe from disaster, human error, or everyday digital wear and tear. This workshop will introduce key issues and best practices for preserving your digital possessions.
Sponsored by: Friends Historical Library, Information Technology Services, and Digital Initiatives & Scholarship.
Chemical Heritage Foundation
315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Registration required. RSVP here
For one night only, discover hidden treasures from the Othmer Library of Chemical History as we open our vaults in celebration of American Archives Month! Visitors will have the opportunity to browse a selection of our most unique and interesting materials, from alchemical manuscripts and alternative versions of the periodic table, to vintage chemistry notebooks and advertisements from the Dow Chemical Company. Enjoy light refreshments while chatting with our archivists and librarians about these remarkable collections. You won’t want to miss this exclusive peek at everything you never knew about the history of chemistry – RSVP today!
About the Othmer Library of Chemical History
The Othmer Library of Chemical History, part of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, collects, preserves, and makes accessible materials relating to the history of science, technology, and medicine, with an emphasis on chemistry and chemical engineering from ancient to modern times. The Library houses approximately 160,000 printed volumes, rare books and manuscripts, significant archival materials, and a rich collection of historical photographs. Together, these collections span nearly six miles of shelves and form an unrivaled resource for the history of chemistry and related sciences, technologies, and industries.
October 26th 4:30-6:00
Haverford College, Magill Library Phillips Wing
370 Lancaster Avenue Haverford, PA 19041
Our personal and professional records are now primarily digital, and our lives are geared toward constant sharing of these works from our own scholarly output to family photos. The complexity of these growing collections in every sphere of our lives cannot be overstated. The Quaker and Special Collection’s Personal Digital Archiving Day Workshop welcomes anyone that is interested in ensuring long-term access to these personal collections and archives. The workshop will share best practices for creating, managing, and preserving your personal digital records, discuss issues affecting personal digital archiving practices such as copyright, privacy, and security as well as provide some hands-on activities.
The workshop will take place in the Phillips Wing in Magill Library
Monday, October 26, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
What is a monster? Today, one often thinks of large, fantastical – and often frightening – creatures when one hears the word ‘monster.’ The meaning of ‘monster’ has changed seemingly little over the years. However, at one time, ‘monster’ was used also to describe people with medical anomalies, not just fabulous creatures out of legends.
As part of Archives Month Philly, The Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia will be displaying materials that explore what it meant to be a ‘monster’ in the 16th through the early 20th centuries and how the use of the term has changed – at least in the medical world.
This event is free, but reservations are required. Space is limited to 30 attendees. A behind-the-scenes tour of the library stacks is included with this event.
October 27, 2015 at 6pm
The Free Library of Philadelphia invites you to learn more about the seven fantastic special collections at Parkway Central: the Automobile Reference Collection, the Children’s Literature Research Collection, the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music, the Map Collection, the Print and Picture Collection, the Rare Book Department, and the Theatre Collection.
Treasures from each collection will be on view, and the collections’ curators will lead a special show-and-tell. A reception with light refreshments and drinks will follow.
531 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123
A screening of 8 or 9 works, originally on film, that are housed in local Philadelphia repositories. Thanks to the generosity of NFL Films, five of these works were transferred to digital files and are now accessible to the public. They include home movie footage, documentaries and even Muppets! Representatives from all the organizations involved will be on hand to discuss the films and answer questions.
Films contributed by:
University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center
Hagley Museum and Library
History Making Productions
Philadelphia City Archives
German Society of Pennsylvania
Fairmount Park Historic Resource Archives